Returning to the Main Thing

While there has certainly been plenty going on of late with our proposed plans for The Barn project, I wanted to take some time in this space to come back to The Main Thing.  

As I write, the faculty is engaged in the second of three meetings to do a three-pronged curricular strand review of technology, diversity, and learning support (encompassing both challenge and scaffolding) for students. These particular reviews, spearheaded by Deborah Brissenden in her capacity as director of curriculum and instruction, have been designed to take a close look at how we are integrating these three critical curricula into each academic discipline—language arts, math, world languages, science, arts, and athletics—and where we need to further bolster our efforts. We have begun by looking closely at what we are doing today, what we think we should be doing for tomorrow, and if there are any discernable gaps that needs to be addressed.

This year’s review of three all-inclusive and “umbrella” curriculum—ones that impact and are woven into all others—is the start of a much more comprehensive evaluative review schedule. Next year, we will take a discreet look at the scope and sequence of specific disciplines: math, arts, athletics, world languages, and the reading and vocabulary-building aspects of our language arts program. The year after that, we will continue with further reviews, and over time, will develop a consistent cycle for review across divisions and disciplines to ensure our students continue to receive the very best curriculum and instruction.

Curricular review is critical to the health of the school and to our commitment to the core values of responsibility and excellence. They also nourish the faculty by providing the conversations they are eager to have: dialogue about ways to improve their own practice in the classroom, pathways to see where their students have been before arriving in there, and an accurate sense of where they will be going once they move on. They are meetings that speak directly to the heart of an educator and the reason we all got into this work to begin with—The Main Thing, if you will. They are conversations about children, what they need today and into the future, and how best we might provide it.

The review will continue into closing meetings in June and will leave a wonderful road map for us to follow in the years to come. Teaching and learning remain at the heart of our work every day here at Belmont Day, and this work—and an intentional and focused reminder of its importance—is a welcome one for us all.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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